Padraig Whelan·4 December 2023
Padraig Whelan·4 December 2023
Amid the weekend chaos of a Euro 2024 draw, there was still plenty of football being played across the continent.
But who impressed most in the top five leagues to make our Team of the Weekend?
Two penalty saves for the Lille youngster against Metz and a clean sheet are a surefire way to guarantee access to the Team of the Weekend.
“He was a real leader on the pitch for us today and that was most important,” his coach Jürgen Klopp hailed after the right-back’s display in Liverpool’s late comeback win over Fulham. He helped put them ahead with a superb free-kick that ricocheted home off Bernd Leno before winning it at the death with a superb low finish to send Anfield into ecstasy.
Freiburg had to dig deep to end their four-game winless run in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win away at Mainz to go eighth in the table, and the Austrian centre-back played a huge part as he marshalled the defence superbly to a clean sheet and important three points.
The Chilean was again entrusted with the captaincy by Adi Hütter for Monaco’s clash with Montpellier and repaid that faith with a spotless showing in their 2-0 victory as the Principality outfit got back to winning ways. He came out on top in all but two of his aerial duels and also contributed a key goal-line block.
Utilised on the opposite flank in an unfamiliar left-back role due to Dortmund’s injury issues, the Norwegian did not look out of place whatsoever. He opened the scoring in the 1-1 draw at league leaders Bayer Leverkusen and also coped well defensively, given that he was up against Dutch speedster Jeremie Frimpong, who got little change out of Ryerson.
The Frenchman has evolved into the leader of this Juventus side and evidenced that perfectly against Monza. His opener means he is the most prolific midfield scorer in Serie A over the past two seasons and after conceding a late equaliser, he dragged them forward to win it in stunning fashion. The captain has played every minute he’s been available for in the league and the only problem is his contract – which expires in June.
It takes a special showing to stand above all others in a 3-0 win away to the reigning league champions but that’s what the Azzurri ace provided for Inter at Napoli. He provided a devilish no-look assist for the opener before showing his fantastic footwork to score in the second half with a slaloming waltz into the area for his first goal of the season.
One of the main sparks behind Bournemouth’s recent revival is undoubtedly the performances of the Scotland international in midfield. His inexhaustible energy and quality on the ball was in full evidence again in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. He was everywhere as he put in yet another Man of the Match performance.
Two goals (one from the penalty spot) and a continuously menacing display helped fire Brest to a routine 3-0 win over Clermont, although it says it all about the standards being set for the 27-year-old that his coach Eric Roy still wasn’t entirely happy! “He had a very good offensive game but defensively, I demand more of him,” Roy disclosed. “He’s capable of more, he can improve and I’m going to keep on top of him to help him.”
There are cameo performances and then there are cameo performances like the one Stuani produced for Girona against Valencia. Thrown on with just 15 minutes remaining and his side trailing, the Uruguayan veteran scored two dramatic late goals to turn the game and keep his side level atop LaLiga with Real Madrid.
This was the kind of performance of promise that was witnessed at the start of the season, capped off by a very well-taken goal. He was a nuisance in possession throughout and always made himself available to cause problems in the 3-1 win over Frosinone.